With a pair of seniors at the starting safety positions for the Illinois Fighting Illini, the team is on the hunt for the next starter in the secondary and may have found him at a junior college in California. On Thursday, Zane Petty of American River Community College announced his commitment to play for Illinois.
Both Supo Sanni and Patrick Nixon-Youman are seniors and will be leaving the program after the season, leaving the safety position wide open for a competition that Petty will surely factor in to. Of the 18 defensive backs listed on the Illinois roster for the 2012 season, six are seniors.
Through six games in 2012, Petty has recorded 86 tackles and six interceptions, including one interception that was returned for a touchdown. He is the leading tackler in the Valley Conference of the Northern California Football Association and is second in interceptions in the conference. He is tied for the sixth most interceptions in the state of California.